Friday, August 26, 2011

9th Annual Central City Opera Weekend—2011

This year we saw two of the Central City Opera's offerings, Bizet's "Carmen" and Handel's "Amadigi di Gaula."

The "Carmen" presented this year was quite different from what we had seen at the opening of the
Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver in 2005. It was very good, very entertaining, just different, and that is one of the things that makes the Central City Opera productions so much fun. They are not afraid to do things differently, to try new things, to perform operas that are not often performed. It keeps us coming back year after year!

"Amadigi di Gaula" was different from most operas we have seen. A Baroque Opera, it focused more on the music than the story. It also made use of the countertenor voice. The lead in this opera was sung by South African countertenor, Christopher Ainslie, making his Central City and North American debut. The musical score allowed the performers to demonstrate their virtuosity on many levels. For lovers of Handel, it was a feast. From the opening chord and every note thereafter, it was unmistakably Handel.

I love this quote from the 2011 Opera Insider, "Amadigi di Gaula is a Baroque 'magic opera' based on a Renaissance story about a Medieval knight. It is also an Italian opera written by a German composer for an English audience, based on a French play, based on a Spanish book." I might add, "and performed in a mountain gambling town's nearly sesquicentenarian opera house for an American audience."

Friday night we arrived in town, and after checking into the Inn, we shared our traditional dinner at the Ameristar's Centennial Buffet (one day, I'll have to take a picture, but we're always so intent on eating that I forget). For Saturday lunch, we wandered Central City and came upon a place called Stella's, in an alley near the Teller House. Inside, it looked enchanting, but the service was not good, and we do not recommend it.

Saturday, we had our traditional dinner at the Kevin Taylor restaurant operating out of the Face Bar at the Teller House. They may lose us next year, however, as the portions had grown smaller, the prices higher, and they did not serve Truffle Fries, which is one of the items we especially liked on their menu.

Sunday, we like to stop at Millies, an old-fashioned family restaurant above the Easy Street Casino in Central City. They have a fairly extensive menu, fast, courteous service, and reasonable prices.

Cheese Fries at Millie's (in our defense, four of us shared this culinary luxury). 

And of course we stayed at our favorite B&B, the

Here we are, preparing to enjoy one of Karen's marvelous breakfasts.

A nice cup of java before breakfast.

The relaxing porch with rocking chairs is one of the many attractions of the Chase Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast that keep us coming back year after year. Hummingbirds buzz around the feeders to quietly keep us company.
I like to tell people our favorite B&B, the Chase Creek Inn, is around the corner from all the hustle and bustle of the casinos (it's behind and around the corner from Bullwhackers in Blackhawk). Here's a view off the back porch.
Another attraction of the B&B for me is Chase Creek itself. The babbling brook, the chortling creek, the gurgling stream can always be heard. As we drift off to sleep, we can hear the pleasant sound of the creek in the background.

Click on the video with speakers on to hear Chase Creek's pleasing tune. 

This weekend is a highlight of our year. This was the 9th annual weekend relaxing in the mountains of Colorado, enjoying a lovely weekend of fellowship with friends, drinking in the fresh air, walking around the quaint towns of Blackhawk and Central City, as well as the Chase Creek neighbohood, and enjoying wonderful musical entertainment at the Central City Opera House.

Former Weekends:

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